China Does Not Want Another Tiananmen Square By Proxy – Isabel Hilton

From The Guardian’s Comment is free:

… The main difference is in the role of China, Burma’s major trading partner and the principal protector of the regime. So far, China, with the support of Russia, has blocked international attempts to bring the regime into line: nine months ago, China and Russia vetoed a UN security council resolution that sought to empower the UN secretary general to negotiate with the Burmese regime, and China has undermined three Asian diplomatic efforts – by Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia – to secure the release of Suu Kyi, provoking unusually direct criticism of Beijing from a group of Asean (Association of South-East Asian Nations) parliamentarians.

China has sustained the Burmese military with generous support; Chinese aid has built transport infrastructure and dams; Chinese investment gives Beijing a stake in key sectors of Burma’s economy; Chinese immigration has produced large Chinese populations in Burma’s cities; and Chinese support has rendered US sanctions against the regime ineffectual. Why, then, is China now being cited as a restraining influence? [Full Text]

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